The terminal is arguably the most used application when it comes to Linux. And together with the excessive usage of the terminal in Linux, there are a lot of text-based applications to use directly on the terminal for almost every task you need to perform daily. Text-based applications are usually simple, clean and very easy to customize. And moreover, since these applications are text-based, they dont consume much resource, you then can run these apps on old computers without any problem. Moreover, when you incorporate these text-based apps with tiling window managers like Awesome or XMonad, the result is really nice. Here are the list of my favorite text-based applications that I use everyday in my Linux computer:
1 - Vim
Vim is one of the most used text editors in Linux. It is based on Vi and has a lot of features that nobody dares to claim that he knows everything about Vim. You can either use Vim as a text-based app or with a GUI. Some other well known command line interface text editors are Nano and Emacs.
2 - Calcurse
Calcurse is my favorite tool to keep track of events, appointments and everyday tasks.It has a configurable notification system to reminds users of upcoming events and deadlines, and the curses based interface can be customized to suit user needs.
3 - Mutt
Not as well known as Evolution or Thunder Bird but Mutt is an awesome mail client. If you prefer to read mails that have text only, Mutt is the best choice for you. It's light, fast and highly configurable.
4 - Mpd with ncmpcpp
I got a lot of questions about the "rainbow" music player I use in some of my screenshots. This is mpd with ncmpcpp. There are also many other text-based music players such as Cmus, xmms2, Moc ... but Mpd is always my favorite.
5 - Links
Links is a test-based web browser. It was my savior when I tried to install Arch Linux the first time. Since you dont have any graphic interface when installing Arch, other browsers like Firefox or Chromium cannot work for you, Links would be very useful then to check the installing guide. Links and other test-based browsers like elinks, lynx ... are also very helpful for webmasters to see how the robots see their websites.
6 - Irssi and weechat
|Weechat with the default settings|
7 - CenterIM
I use yahoo chat a lot and CenterIM is a very nice application to chat yahoo on the terminal. It also support many other popular message platforms besides Yahoo. If you're interested in CenterIM, you can read my article about how to set up and use CenterIM.
8 - MC
MC is the acronym for Midnight Commander, it is a text-based file manager. You may already have Nautilus, Thunar, Dolphin ... but if you're really a Linux power user, you should consider using a text-based file manager. Other well-known text based file managers are Vifm (based on Vim) and Gnome Commander.